State of play – first week

First week of therapy completed – three days of it anyway. There was some trepidation going into it, but now I know what to expect. Radiotherapy I’ve got used to quickly. I’m in and out in 10-15 minutes, and there’s no great discomfort. I’m sure it will get harder as therapy progresses.

I’m a bit over the number of jabs and injections I’ve had in the last couple of months, but I turned up on Friday for my first chemo session. Not much to it, really. Got hooked up to a drip and sat there for 4 hours looking out the window and listening to music.

Thursday overnight, more stitches were released in my mouth, which allowed me to open up my mouth by another half inch. On Friday, between sessions, I was bold enough to buy a couple of potato cakes from the hospital kiosk and munched on them in the courtyard. After being restricted to purees and soups and bland food generally, they came as a gastronomic revelation.

That night my lockdown buddy visited and bought some take-away. I had some chips and chicken strips. Great. I slept only two hours Friday night, probably because of the steroids I’d been given. I slept late and woke up to heavy nausea. I felt leaden and sour and devoid of energy. I had zero appetite, but my taste buds were up shit creek anyway. Everything I ate or drank tasted vile and bitter. So, is this is how it’s going to be from here on in, I wondered? I’d been warned about this. The day after, I don’t feel half as bad. It feels as if I was in a trance yesterday. I’m not even sure what I did to fill the day.

I took a sleeping pill last night and lights out at 8pm. After that, I slept solidly until 7am. This morning, more energy, and though I’m off my food still, the taste in my mouth is much less bitter. And the nausea is in the background. Hopefully, it’s a trend that continues – the chemo will be out of my system in a week. But, you have to expect it will continue to get worse as I go along – that’s the playbook for this.

That’s where I’m at now. Dealing with it. As you will have seen, I’m counting down the days and trying to make it fun. Cancer is a shit sandwich, but you’ve got to take what you can along the way. One day this will be over, and life will be back to normal. That’s the big picture – just need to keep turning up until that happens.

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